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November 30, 2014 / C H Thompson

Functional prerequisites

Parsons’ key book The Social System set out any successful social system has four functional prerequisites – adaptation; goal attainment; integration and pattern maintenance – in more depth.

Below is a list of some of the main functional prerequisites you would look for if a society was to survive:lego school

  • social control – how to keep things running (functioning) by bringing people into line and prevent any anti-social behaviour
  • socialisation – how society’s values are transmitted from one generation to the next
  • adaption – the need for housing and shelter as well as the production food and materials
  • a belief system – religion or ideology so a set of values and culture is passed on from one generation to the next
  • goal attainment – motivation of the members of the society to set out and achieve certain goals
  • leadership – a person or group to make things happen
  • reproduction – a set of rules within sexual activity
  • social stratification – to ensure the right people run things
  • the family – to ensure reproduction
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